Team Philippines draws Iran, Kazakhstan in group stage of Asian Women’s U-23 volleyball tilt
Officials involved in the staging of the Asian Women’s U-23 Volleyball Championship led by Larong Volleyball president Joey Romasanta (center, sitting) and Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) secretary general Shanrit Wongprasert (right, sitting), during Friday’s official drawing of lots. Fernando Solo

TEAM Philippines is in for a tough task as it competes against the best of the best in the inaugural staging of the Asian Women’s U-23 Volleyball Championship.

The Filipina volleybelles found themselves grouped with Kazakhstan and Iran in Pool A during the official drawing of lots held Friday at the Crowne Plaza in Ortigas.

The meet will be held in Manila from May 1 to 9.

Top seed and region powerhouse China leads Pool B with India and Macau, while Pool C will have Japan, Chinese-Taipei, and Maldives.

Pool D will be composed of South Korea, Thailand, and Uzbekistan.

The placing was based on the result of the 17th Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship.

Multi-tiled coaches Roger Gorayeb and Sammy Acaylar will call the shots for the national team, which they admitted will have its hands full competing against the best volleyball squads in the region.

Still, Acaylar likes Team Pilipinas’ chances.

“Sinasabi ko naman that the Filipinos, they have a good heart to play. Malalakas ang mga ‘yan, wala naman imposible sa mga Pilipino basta they give their best,” he said.

The final 12-woman lineup has yet been named pending the end of Season 77 of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, which is currently playing its stepladder phase.

“We have a wish list but there’s no lineup yet because ayaw namin sila ma-disturb sa UAAP,” said Acaylar.

Ateneo team manager Tony Boy Liao however, admitted Alyssa Valdez, Julia Morado, and Bea de Leon have already made a commitment to play for the national squad.

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